I can't pretend to know with any certainty what causes this. My personal suspicion is that it is related to plasticizers working out of the plastic; I have experienced the same thing on many other aged vinyls. Oddly enough, it seems to be more prevalent on vinyls in shielded storage, more so than those in full sun and higher heat. Maybe the plasticizers collect on the surface on the former, but evaporate away on the latter. But I really don't know.

I can suggest a two-stage treatment. Westley's used to market a plastic and vinyl cleaner that something like 'methasylicates' in it. It has since been taken off the market in that packaging; apparently because it could actually streak or stain glass, and was hard on unprotected skin. However... the same stuff is still being sold as 'Westley's Tire Brite', or something similar. It is an excellent vinyl cleaner; the best I have ever found. Particularly when applied using a Scotch-Brite pad. It contains no solvents that attack the plastic. You scrub the vinyl with it, and rinse with water.

Then you flood the vinyl (not just lightly wipe the vinyl) with ArmorAll (or the equivalent). Let the wet ArmorAll sit overnight, then wipe off any remaining excess which has not soaked into the plastic

If you will be painting the vinyl with Molecubond (available from Spruce), skip the Armorall. Instead, clean the vinyl a second time with Ajax powdered cleanser (or the equivalent), rinse it thoroughly, and towel it dry with a clean towel. Let it finish air drying at least overnight, then paint it. When proper prep (and application) is done, the Molecubond blends with the plastic, and won't chip off.

If you think that the sticky vinyl is bad, wait until the first time you open a drawer-full of plastic-handled tools which have been closed up for a couple of months. Hold your nose....

From: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:musketeermail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jefro
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2006 2:09 PM
To: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [musketeermail] 3 "interior" questions for anyone

I inspected a Cardinal some years ago that had a sticky ceiling. We
came up with many creative ideas about what might have caused it, but
never really figured it out. (Didn't buy the plane, either.)

The most likely cause in my opinion was cigarette smoke from the past
leeching out of the plastic panels as they outgas. Another possibility
was a manufacturing flaw in the chemical recipe that made up those
particular panels, causing them to degrade over time, probably aided by
the heat that gets concentrated at the top of the cabin.

good luck! let us know if you figure it out.

> 2- The plastic ceiling panel surfaces have become very sticky to the
> touch. I scrubbed them with mineral spirits when I first got the plane
> 6 yrs ago and it did work, but I was concerned with the possibility of
> damaging the plastic with this chemical. Have you had this Stickiness
> develop and how did you treat it? (And do you know WHY this occurs?)

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